Wednesday, 18 February 2015 15:12

Small gestures aren’t always seen as so small

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We lead busy lives. Often, it’s easy to forget that small, simple acts of kindness can have a profound impact on others. I was reminded of that recently during a series of speaking engagements in southern Saskatchewan.


For those of you who aren’t familiar with me, in June of 2012 I began an eight-month canoe journey from Eastend, Sask. to New Orleans, Louisiana. Of all the gear and cargo I had in my boat, nothing was more important than my uncle Mitch Hamon’s ashes.
My uncle passed away from a heart attack in 2010 when he was only 42. Before he left this world, he had visited New Orleans and the experience left a indelible impression on him. He loved that unique city on the banks of the Mississippi, so I decided to take his ashes there to honour his life and to raise awareness about heart disease.
My uncle was born and raised in Gravelbourg, Sask. I was in Gravelbourg and Ponteix last week to give presentations about my trip. I got a chance to meet a lot of people who knew Mitch and they shared quite a few stories about him. A common thread ran through most of their stories. That thread was how everyone remembered times my uncle had been kind to them.
At first glance, his gestures seemed praiseworthy, but not as significant as I would have expected. For example, my uncle had bought flowers for people who were sick or stopped along the road to help change a flat tire. Now that he’s gone and I hear people speak so fondly of his compassion, I realize that all the little things he did for others weren’t so little. They are his legacy.
You might not ever know how much it means to someone when you buy them flowers or try to cheer them up when they feel down. In fact, you might even forget what you did, but the recipient could speak of your kindness for years. The point is that simple gestures are meaningful and profound.
People remember feelings. In other words, people don’t forget the way you make them feel.
Now that you’re done reading this, is their a small, but meaningful gesture you could do to brighten someone’s day?
(Dominique Liboiron is a speaker, author, teacher, journalist and photographer. To raise awareness about heart disease and to honour the life of one of its victims, Liboiron canoed from Saskatchewan to New Orleans. He is the first person to undertake that journey. He enjoys outdoor sports such as camping, hunting, fly fishing and canoeing. For more information about his speaking engagements, phone 306-661-8975 or visit www.canoetoneworleans.com.)

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Dominique Liboiron

Dominique Liboiron is a speaker, author, teacher, journalist and photographer. To raise awareness about heart disease and to honour the life of one of its victims, Liboiron canoed from Saskatchewan to New Orleans. He is the first person to undertake that journey. He enjoys outdoor sports such as camping, hunting, fly fishing and canoeing.